• Saturday, April 20, 2024

Human Interest

For residents of this remote India location, Google is no God & its Maps can be wrong!

“Google is Wrong!! This road does not go to Club Mahindra,” says the signboard, cautioning tourists against taking a wrong route by trusting Google Maps. 

A signboard put up by local people in a remote location in Kodagu district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka warning travellers against taking the wrong route to reach a local resort. (Picture: Kodagu Connect X account/@KodaguConnect)

By: Twinkle Roy

GOOGLE Maps is trusted often by people while out on a journey — be it known or unknown. Modern-day travellers are hardly seen asking local people for directions while looking for a destination, especially in an unknown territory, thanks to the popular digital map service. And this blind faith on the map leads to disasters on many occasions, some of which can even be fatal.

That travellers have often landed in a spot by following Google Maps without questioning its accuracy became clear from a funny makeshift signboard that the local residents in a place in Kodagu district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka put up recently as a mark of caution.

The signboard cautioned the tourists saying, “Google is Wrong!! This road does not go to Club Mahindra”,“Google is Wrong!! This road does not go to Club Mahindra”, making it evident that people were blindly following that very road to reach their venue for a vacation only to reach nowhere. The generous local people hence thought of raising a red flag so that the guests could avoid unnecessary hassles. 

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The picture of the signboard has been posted on X by Kodagu Connect.

For many netizens, the signboard is more of a comical expression of the level of frustration the locals have gone through every time they are asked for directions but many agreed that Google Maps does mislead people to wrong locations. They also said that the application often shows the wrong or the longer route in hilly or mountainous regions. 

One user wrote, “Google local guides like me (volunteers) could have corrected the wrong listing. But google has an admin team that love rejecting edits randomly. So let someone from Google fly down and fix it. Till then let people curse them like this.”

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Another said, “Once we climb up the mountains, Google always gets it wrong. Once I remember how we traveled from kukke Subramanya to Madikeri via sullia. Google made us take a random right in which we traveled for 80+ km realizing we are on wrong and got correct route by local person.”

A third user said, “So true. Not always google maps are right. Last week my sister went to sakleshpura, followed google maps which eventually let them to a dead end and car got stuck in bad road. Luckily some locals helped them. Never rely on navigation while visiting hill stations.”

Getting misguided by Google Maps, however, is not something that is unique to India.

Last month, two German tourists, Philipp Maier and Marcel Schoene, were left stranded in the Australian wilderness after they followed Google Maps. Traveling from Cairns to Bamaga, they ended up on a remote dirt track and reached a national park not accessed by the public.

There have also been instances of people dying after being allegedly misled by Google Maps to dangerous locations. Last year, the family of a man who lost his life while following Google Maps and driving off a broken bridge in North Carolina, filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, accusing it of negligence.

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